Covanta, DiZoglio, Gómez, Linehan and Martinez Dominguez First to Win NECC ‘Impact Awards’

Northern Essex Community College Haverhill campus, (File photograph.)

A local business known for its philanthropy, the newly elected state auditor, a former college trustee, a former student and a community leader are among those who will be honored in May at Northern Essex Community College’s first “Impact Awards” breakfast.

Covanta Area Asset Manager Mark Van Weelden. (Courtesy photograph.)

Covanta is the inaugural recipient of the Community Partner Award, while former representative and senator and now state Auditor Diana DiZoglio is awarded the Public Service and Advocacy Award. Others to be honored are Jouel Gómez, Outstanding Alumni Award; former college Trustee Chair Jeffrey Linehan, Philanthropy and Volunteerism Award; and Greater Lawrence Community Action Council Chief Operating Officer Vilma Martinez Dominguez, Equity and Social Justice Award.

Covanta is recognized for its “lasting impact at Northern Essex,” supporting numerous causes, including its 2011 establishment of an endowed scholarship for students pursuing an associate degree in natural, laboratory or engineering science. Covanta also recently matched a $100,000 grant from the Commonwealth for the Haverhill Promise Program. It allows Haverhill High School students who have participated in early college to complete their associate degrees tuition-free. Covanta Business Manager Mark Van Weelden serves on the NECC Foundation board.

Sen. Diana DiZoglio. (File photograph.)

DiZoglio was selected as an individual who has made a “tremendous impact” on the lives of students through public service or advocacy. As the former state senator from the 1st Essex District and the representative for the 14th Essex District, the college said DiZoglio was an advocate for Northern Essex, its students and its efforts in Lawrence, Haverhill, and surrounding communities.

Gómez is recognized as an alum who achieved career-related success, is active in the community and/or has exemplified active support for the college’s efforts. Gómez is a senior manager at Massachusetts General Brigham: Newton-Wellesley Hospital. After graduating from Northern Essex in 2015 with a Business Transfer Degree, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Boston University in management and an MBA from Bentley University. He became involved in alumni association efforts in 2016, becoming the vice chairperson, and president and chairperson in 2021. Gómez also serves on the college’s Board of Trustees as alumni representative.

Linehan is being honored for being among those who has demonstrated commitment to the college through financial support, volunteering and leadership. Linehan graduated from Northern Essex in 1977 and. after earning his bachelor’s and MBA, returned to his roots, serving as a longstanding member of several local and college boards, including time as the chair of the college Board of Trustees. He currently serves as the secretary for the NECC Foundation Board.

The Equity and Social Justice Award, given to Martinez Dominguez, recognizes individuals, organizations or initiatives that have impacted the Northern Essex community through values such as a commitment to equity, diversity and the advancement of human rights and social justice. She formerly served as community development director for the City of Lawrence. Greater Lawrence Community Action Council partners with hundreds of local organizations to provide wraparound services for area residents living in poverty. This year, the Council partnered with the college to expand availability of high-quality English to Speakers of Other Languages instruction in Greater Lawrence, addressing the waitlist of more than 2,000 people.

The breakfast ceremony takes place Wednesday, May 3, at 8:30, on the Haverhill Campus, 100 Elliott St. Tickets are $100 per person and available online.

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